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A Jelly Doughnut Called Berlinerbolle

Mar 13, 2020

Fastelavn (our Fat Tuesday) has come and gone, but they always remind me of berlinerboller. These deep-fried no-hole doughnuts are made from sweet dough, are often filled jam or vanilla custard, but sometimes have no filling at all, and then rolled in sugar. I love these way more than I love the traditional cream puffs (fastelavnboller in Norwegian, semla in Swedish). I don’t often make or eat fried food, in fact, if I make these once a year, that’s often, and I suppose why these decadent pastries are even more satisfying.

In the town of Tromsø in northern Norway, these fried temptations go by solskinnsboller, or sunshine buns, because they are only eaten around January 21st when the sun returns after the dark period.

Berlinerboller, as you might imagine, stems from Germany but it’s doubtful they are from Berlin, where they are called pancakes (pfannkuchen). Berlinerboller go by many other names in other European countries and in the U.S. the equivalent would be jelly doughnuts. Regardless of what you choose to call them, they are all irresistible and sometimes we deserve a naughty treat!

My mother was the only one I knew around me growing up who made these at home—they were my favorite thing about the otherwise dreary winter months. It was also unusual because my mom would NEVER deep fry anything. She must have been inspired by a food magazine she read or by someone else, I am pretty sure my grandmother didn’t make these either. My sister didn’t continue this tradition, as she finds the house smelling of fried oil afterward, and her kids prefer the “fastelavnsboller”. I must be the only “fat lover” in the family! ☺

I choose to have no filling in mine, perhaps because I fool myself into thinking these have fewer calories if left bare? Regardless, they are delicious and it’s impossible to only have one. Let me know if you try them out and how many you ate in one sitting (I promise I won’t tell!)

NORWEGIAN BERLINERBOLLER

About 1 lb (500 grams) all-purpose flour
½ cup (65 grams) sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup (1.25 dl) non-dairy, unflavored creamer
1/2 cup (1.25 dl) non-dairy milk
1 packet dry instant yeast
½ cup (1.25 dl) applesauce
1 stick (113 grams) vegan butter, diced small and kept cold
1 ½ quart (1.5 L) vegetable oil (or other frying oil with a high smoke point)
Sugar to coat the doughnuts

Add the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Heat up the non-dairy creamer and milk in a small pot and heat up until about 98° Fahrenheit (37° Celsius). Sprinkle the yeast on top with a pinch of sugar and let sit for a couple of minutes until the mixture starts to foam. Add in the apple sauce, and then combine with the dry ingredients in the bowl, fit the stand mixer with a dough hook and knead for about 10 minutes. Slowly add in the chilled butter and knead for another 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and releases from the sides of the bowl.

Let the dough rise under a clean towel for about 1 hour or until double in size.

Transfer the dough on to a clean work surface dusted with a little flour. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until about 1 inch thick (2.5 cm). Using a glass or a round cookie cutter with a circumference of about 2 ½ inches (6+ cm), cut out circles and place them on a prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the cutout buns with a towel and let rise and rest for another 45 minutes or so.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. I use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil. When the oil has reached 320-330° Fahrenheit (160-170° Celsius) it’s ready for the doughnuts to be fried. If you don’t have a thermometer, place a wooden spoon in the oil, and if the oil sizzles around the shaft/handle, it’s ready.

Carefully place a few of the buns in the oil using a slotted spoon (don’t drop them in, the oil will splatter) and fry until golden brown on both sides- be sure to not leave the doughnuts for long on each side as they will quickly burn.

Using the slotted spoon, remove them from the oil and place on a sheet tray lined with paper towels, and roll them generously in sugar.

Berlinerboller

Eat them right away—they are best when newly made. But if you want to freeze some of them, don’t roll them in sugar, let them cool down, and pack them in an airtight container or ziplock bags, and reheat in the oven for 5-7 minutes, then roll in sugar and enjoy.

Berlinerboller

Berlinerboller

A Jelly Doughnut Called Berlinerbolle

Fastelavn (our Fat Tuesday) has come and gone, but they always remind me of berlinerboller. These deep fried no-hole doughnuts are made from sweet dough, are often filled jam or vanilla custard, but sometimes have no filling at all, and then rolled in sugar.
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Ingredients

  • About 1 lb all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup non-dairy, unflavored creamer
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 packet dry instant yeast
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 stick vegan butter, diced small and kept cold
  • 1 ½ quart vegetable oil (or other frying oil with a high smoke point)
  • Sugar to coat the donuts

Instructions

  • Add the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Heat up the non-dairy creamer and milk in a small pot and heat up until about 98° Fahrenheit (37° Celsius). Sprinkle the yeast on top with a pinch of sugar and let sit for a couple of minutes until the mixture starts to foam. Add in the apple sauce, and then combine with the dry ingredients in the bowl, fit the stand mixer with a dough hook and knead for about 10 minutes. Slowly add in the chilled butter and knead for another 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and releases from the sides of the bowl.
  • Let the dough rise under a clean towel for about 1 hour or until double in size.
  • Transfer the dough on to a clean work surface dusted with a little flour. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until about 1 inch thick (2.5 cm). Using a glass or a round cookie cutter with a circumference of about 2 ½ inches (6+ cm), cut out circles and place them on a prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the cutout buns with a towel and let rise and rest for another 45 minutes or so.
  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. I use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil. When the oil has reached 320-330° Fahrenheit (160-170° Celsius) it’s ready for the doughnuts to be fried. If you don’t have a thermometer, place a wooden spoon in the oil, and if the oil sizzles around the shaft/handle, it’s ready.
  • Carefully place a few of the buns in the oil using a slotted spoon (don’t drop them in, the oil will splatter) and fry until golden brown on both sides- be sure to not leave the doughnuts for long on each side as they will quickly burn.
  • Using the slotted spoon, remove them from the oil and place on a sheet tray lined with paper towels, and roll them generously in sugar.
  • Eat them right away—they are best when newly made. But if you want to freeze some of them, don’t roll them in sugar, let them cool down, and pack them in an airtight container or ziplock bags, and reheat in the oven for 5-7 minutes, then roll in sugar and enjoy.

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